Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Taipei – Taiwan

MoCA Taipei’s first major exhibition in the spring of 2024—Hello, Human!, running from January 27 to May 12 and curated by Keith Lam and Escher Tsai, compares AI to the Pandora’s box of this new generation. The exhibition brings together sixteen major artists/art groups from Taiwan and abroad to interpret and reflect on the various issues brought about by AI and a range of imaginative creations informed by diversified perspectives.

Artists: Morehshin Allahyari, Jason M. Allen, Jonas Bendiksen, Blast Theory, Dimension Plus, fuse*, Hello Edo!,  Mario Klingemann,  Daito Manabe,  Lev Manovich, Koya Matsuo onformative,  Anna Ridler, Winnie Soon,  Tim Wei,  Yu-Chiao Yang

When AI takes human’s place
Daito Manabe exhibits the two-channel video installation, AIINA, which draws from Hollywood filmmakers’ strike against the use of AI. In this work, all the characters, texts, voices, images and background music are created by AI, through which the artist attempts to predict the future entertainment industry and the evolutionary changes in the cultural scene.

Tim Wei’s Noctivagant Encyclopedia is a two-channel video that tells the stories from two utterly different texts—one edited by AI, and the other accounted by the artist himself. Like two sides of one tape, the entries constructed by layering words from different disciplines create a precariously and erroneously interconnected reality in the spatial-temporal context, hinting at an encounter and re-negotiation between the self and the public domain.

When AI becomes an artist
In 2022, Jason M. Allen’s Théâtre D’opéra Spatial won the First Prize in the fine arts competition at the Colorado State Fair in USA. The use of AI-generated art to create this work, however, triggers extensive debates and concerns around the world, making this work one of the most recognizable piece of AI-generated art. In this exhibition, the artist not only exhibits the award-winning artwork but also the legal documents from his lawyers filed for copyrighting the work.

Hello Edo!, an Asian creative team dedicated to AI art, exhibits the AI-generated Yatai Series. The imagery enriched by the Ukiyo-e style reveals a world where futuristic creatures, gender, mechanical technology, deities and demons, AI and cyborgs intermix, constructing an otherworld that is stylistically retro, futuristic and fantastic.

Yu-Chiao Yang’s strephein stoma” series assumes a world when human beings already disappear, and other highly intelligent creatures read about the study of “humans” in an AI-managed database, simulating how AI “tells” its understanding of “humans.”

In Morehshin Allahyari’s work, Moon-faced, the artist uses portraits from the Iranian Qajar dynasty from 1786 to 1925 to train the AI model, which in turn generates a series of videos as an attempt to dissolve and restore the erased non-binary gender expression in Persian visual culture after Western culture invaded the country.

Lev Manovich’s Aesthetic Fragments asks AI to simulate old engravings and etchings, creating a dreamlike, nostalgic atmosphere as well as space that is like the alternative memory of a human civilization, one that has disappeared and only left behind its fragments.

Berlin-based art collective, onformative, presents AI Sculpting, a video work that observes and documents the evolutionary process of AI learning to sculpt 3D models. The work highlights the curatorial role of humans when machine becomes the artist.

Jonas Bendiksen’s The Book of Veles explores the history and contemporary complex situation of the North Macedonian town of Veles. The artist uses 3D virtual characters and AI-generated texts to produce a book that blends history and contemporary fake messages, engaging the audience to reflect on the difficulty of differentiating truth from lies in the era of technology.

When the black box of AI is embedded with invisible censorship and preconceptions
Unerasable Characters is an important work by Winnie Soon. This work investigates how power inequality in digital infrastructure affects culture. Soon gathers censored and removed textual data from the Chinese social media platform, “Weibo” to engages the audience to reflect on the unheard voices muted by censorship as well as its cultural impact.

Mario Klingemann’s Appropriate Response demonstrates the power of words. The wall-mounted split flap display in the video shows a short phrase whenever someone kneels on the wooden kneeler in front of the display. These phrases are written by the AI neural network. Although it seems that AI is able to produce coherent, aphorist phrases, it is the human viewer that furnishes these phrases with meaning.

When AI interacts and coexists with living organisms
Japanese artist Koya Matsuo exhibits two works, Torichan sings Desperado and Star Filled Night, using AI technology to recreate the singing voice and images of his deceased wife. The artwork demonstrates a moving scene of dual singing by the artist and his wife, a performance that transcends both life and space-time.

New media art group Dimension Plus exhibits Ecological Pool (Feat. Dr. Kinetic), which is themed on the process of the birth of an imaginary species generated by AI, creating a virtual ecosystem that imitates the look, modality and movement of an existing life form. Another work, VS AI Street Fighting, comprises fun-making gaming consoles to explore the limitation or bias of AI.

Renowned UK-based interactive art group Blast Theory presents Cat Royale: an experiment with three cats and AI in one room, the robotic arm will provide games, toys, food and water based on the happiness level and the needs of each cat, making the work an attempt to explore how AI influences animal behavior and wellbeing.

Anna Ridler exhibits a series of AI-generated works. In Mosaic Virus, every channel shows the changing image of a single tulip controlled by the price of bitcoin. Bloemenveling is an NFT work that destroys itself after a week, approximately the same amount of time that a cut tulip lasts for. The spectacular yet peculiar Black Tulip challenges the volatile digital art market by making it impossible to sell for more than it was originally purchased for.

Onirica () by fuse* weaves together compatible dreams from the “Dream Bank” into a continuous narrative, aided by AI that transforms information into a visual storytelling experience. By infusing pure human perceptual experiences into a machine learning system, the piece generates a series of interconnected visuals encompassing characters, objects, landscapes, and more, all intertwined into mesmerizing and enigmatic imagery.